Health & Medicine

Saturday, 23 July 2011 14:28

CANSA: Volunteering is a life-changing experience

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5 December 2009 marks International Volunteer Day – a day that puts the spotlight on one of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)’s most important groups: CANSA Volunteers.
According to the Universal Declaration on Volunteering, “volunteering is a fundamental building block of civil society. It brings life to the noblest aspirations of humankind – the pursuit of peace, freedom, opportunity, safety and justice for all people.” In light of this, CANSA gives thanks to its volunteers with a day of celebration and recognition on 5 December. Certificates, awards and gifts are handed out and training also takes place.

“Because of our volunteers, lives have been changed and lives have been saved,” says CANSA CEO, Sue Janse van Rensburg. “Without our volunteers, CANSA would not be able to deliver our service in all communities in South Africa. The incidence of cancer is rising, and more South Africans are needed to get actively involved in the fight against cancer.”

CANSA is a volunteer-driven organisation that was founded by a group of volunteers in 1931 and as such volunteers have always been the backbone and lifeblood of the organisation. Since its inception it has grown into one of the largest and best-known non-profits and thanks to the involvement of its approximately 40 000 volunteers on their database, CANSA has been officially recognised by the World Volunteer Movement as the world's 5th largest volunteer organisation.

Volunteers not only help to fight cancer through health campaigns and CANSA’s unique integrated service, but also gain from the experience by working with a number of mentors and meeting new people who enhance their lives as well as those of their families. They also have the opportunity to learn many skills that can be added to their CV’s and carried into a career, including leadership, meeting management, counselling, event organising, negotiation and communication skills.

Volunteers work with the guidance of CANSA staff to ensure service delivery excellence and many CANSA volunteers are people who have overcome cancer and choose to help others fight the disease. Caregivers are also volunteers who provide support and care to family members, friends and others living with cancer through CANSA’s community based care programme and support groups.

For a story on caregiving and families affected by cancer, watch out for Nu Metro’s ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ DVD releasing on 11 December 2009.

You too can become actively engaged and make a difference by signing up as a volunteer for CANSA's patient support programmes or take part in one of their national campaigns such as CANSA Shavathon or CANSA Relay For Life. CANSA is looking for:

A compassionate, enthusiastic person with a heart for service
Anyone who wants to enhance their own lives in service of others
Anyone who wants to share their talents and time in the fight against cancer

Win 'My sister's keeper' DVD and book hamper

Nick Cassavetes, the director of The Notebook, again demonstrates his sure hand with tales of deep human emotion in this inspiring film about a loving family challenged – and united – by a child’s illness. Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin and others in an exceptional cast bring sensitivity to the story of an 11-year-old, conceived to be a donor for the leukemia-stricken sister, and who finally demands the right to control her own body. The film is based on the book by Jodi Picoult. MY SISTER’s KEEPER releases on DVD on 11 December 2009.

SMS ‘SISTER’ to 35134 and you could stand in line to win the DVD and a Jodi Picoult book hamper. SMS’s charged at R3 and errors will be billed. Free SMS’s don’t apply. Competition closes 31 January 2010 and terms and conditions apply.

For more information contact Munnik Marais, Head of Volunteer Services at CANSA This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Cell: 083 268 8701 or call CANSA toll-free on 0800 22 66 22 (during office hours).


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